NCSS Online Teachers' Library

NCSS has selected a collection of classroom activities, teaching ideas, and articles from Social Education, Middle Level Learning, and Social Studies and the Young Learner. Browse the collection, or search by historical period and grade level using the search function below.
(Collections on other disciplines are under development.)

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Venture Smith’s Autobiography and Runaway Ad: Enslavement in Early New York


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--Alan J. Singer
Students compare primary sources (included as handouts) to validate historical information. The ad is from the "New York Gazette," April 1, 1754, published in the slave-holding colony of New York.

This URL downloads all 16 pages of Middle Level Learning as a pdf of about 1.2 MB:
* http://members.ncss.org/mll/28/MLL28.pdf

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Frederick Douglass, the Constitution, and Slavery: A Classroom Debate


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--Vanessa Rodriguez
Students debate Douglass versus . . . Douglass! Before 1851, he argued that the U.S. Constitution abetted slavery. But then he proclaimed, "Let the North now make that instrument [i.e., the Constitution] bend to the cause of freedom and justice." Handouts provide eight passages from the Constitution and Douglass's statements about them.

This URL downloads all 16 pages of Middle Level Learning as a pdf of about 0.8 MB:
* http://members.ncss.org/mll/33/MLL33.pdf

Related:

Frederick Douglass, the Constitution, and Slavery: A Classroom Debate


PDF versionPDF version

--Vanessa Rodriguez
Students debate Douglass versus . . . Douglass! Before 1851, he argued that the U.S. Constitution abetted slavery. But then he proclaimed, "Let the North now make that instrument [i.e., the Constitution] bend to the cause of freedom and justice." Handouts provide eight passages from the Constitution and Douglass's statements about them.

This URL downloads all 16 pages of Middle Level Learning as a pdf of about 0.8 MB:
* http://members.ncss.org/mll/33/MLL33.pdf

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Drummer Boys: Creating Historical Fiction and Studying Historical Documents


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--Daniel C. King
Students analyze historical documents (photos and a personal letter, included as handouts) and write creatively about what they have learned.

This URL downloads all 16 pages of Middle Level Learning as a pdf of about 0.8 MB:
* http://members.ncss.org/mll/35/MLL35.pdf

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The Great Irish Famine (and Immigration to USA)


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--Maureen Murphy, Alan Singer, Maureen McCann Miletta, and Judity Y. Singer
Theme issue with brief history, excerpts from primary historical documents, references, handouts, historical fiction/diary.

This URL downloads all 16 pages of Middle Level Learning as a black-and-white pdf of about 3.0 MB:
* http://members.ncss.org/mll/09/MLLSept2000BW.pdf

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The Great Irish Famine (and Immigration to USA)


PDF versionPDF version

--Maureen Murphy, Alan Singer, Maureen McCann Miletta, and Judity Y. Singer
Theme issue with brief history, excerpts from primary historical documents, references, handouts, historical fiction/diary.

This URL downloads all 16 pages of Middle Level Learning as a black-and-white pdf of about 3.0 MB:
* http://members.ncss.org/mll/09/MLLSept2000BW.pdf

Related:

A Crossword Puzzle for Higher-Order Thinking


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--James Monack
Challenge your students with this crossword puzzle about the Revolutionary Era, or fashion your own about any era of history, with the use of a website's puzzle generator. This 32-page issue of MLL also includes a review of a book about community activist Jane Jacobs, who fought against "urban renewal" schemes in the 1960s, as well as and article (featured cover image) about a curious incident with tulips during the Dutch Golden Age (1600s).

This URL downloads all 16 pages of Middle Level Learning as a pdf of about 2 MB:

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Students Preserve an Emancipation Site with Archaeological Technology


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--Paul LaRue
High school students in Ohio combine study with experience as they unearth and clean artifacts in order to re-create the history of an early settlement of emancipated slaves.

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It is My Desire to be Free: Annie Davis’s Letter to Abraham Lincoln and Winslow Homer’s Painting ... (Teaching with Documents)


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--Michael Hussey and Elizabeth K. Eder
A study of the featured document and painting will give students a greater understanding of the multi-step process of emancipation and the changing relationship that developed between freed slaves and former slave owners.

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Interdisciplinary Activities Using Census in Schools


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--Janice Jefferson

A U.S. history timeline is available at www.census.gov if you click on the “History & Pop Culture” icon. Colorful, illustrated webpages appear with all sorts of facts and figures about a time period, from 1790 to the present. Interestingly, this wonderful resource--of interest to all students in grade levels K-college--is not easily found with a Google search on the key words “census” and “timeline.”
Other U.S. Census resources are described in this and other articles to be found in the March/April 2010 issue of SOCIAL STUDIES AND THE YOUNG LEARNER, available in the NCSS Journal Archives.

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